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Everything posted by Rocky

  1. I don't understand how that relates to this discussion.
  2. Hi Alan, All of that is completely understandable. The 1990s are a couple of decades behind us. How did you cope or adapt to that loneliness? Rocky
  3. Thank goodness that's not what we're doing now, eh?
  4. JALvis wasn't coordinating the 9th corpse its first year in res... the first and only year I was there. But we called it ho-ho relo that year too.
  5. Indeed, the chains cults put their members in are invisible and largely enforced by way of the meaning/understanding of the language/terminology they use. Wonderful insight T-Bone. Thanks.
  6. Bumping this topic up. Today I received an email from the Daily Stoic that asked the question, "What is gratitude?" On this day of American Thanksgiving, we’re supposed to make time for thanks, to actively think about that word that has become almost cliché in wellness circles: gratitude. But what is gratitude? Some people think of it as being thankful for all the good things you have in your life. Others see it as the act of acknowledging what people have done for you or what you appreciate about others. While the Stoics would have agreed that was all important, they practiced a slightly different form of gratitude. It was more inclusive and counterintuitive. It wasn’t just about being grateful for the good, but for all of life. “Convince yourself that everything is the gift of the gods,” was how Marcus Aurelius put it, “that things are good and always will be.” The first key word there is everything. The other key word is convince. Meaning: you have to tell yourself that it’s all good, even the so-called “bad stuff.” Is it possible to be grateful for that nine-hour travel delay that has you sleeping on a bench in the airport? Is it possible to be grateful for your father’s affair that tore your family apart, and which now means you’re celebrating two Thanksgivings in two houses because your parents can’t be in the same room together? Or that dark period you went through in college, when your grades fell to pieces and you thought about killing yourself? It’s not easy to be grateful for any of this, but it is possible. In the Discourses, Epictetus says, “It is easy to praise providence for anything that may happen if you have two qualities: a complete view of what has actually happened in each instance, and a sense of gratitude.” On the surface, much of what we’re upset about or wish hadn’t occurred is so objectionable that gratitude seems impossible. But if we can zoom out for that more complete view, understanding and appreciation can emerge. First off, you’re alive. That’s the silver lining of every s h i t t y situation and should not be forgotten. But second, everything that has happened and is happening is bringing you to where you are. It’s contributing to the person you have become. And that’s a good thing. This understanding, Epictetus said, helps you see the world in full color—in the color of gratitude. The Stoics believed that we should feel gratitude for all the people and events that form our lives. We shouldn’t just be thankful for the gifts we receive, and our relationships with friends and family. We should also be aware of and grateful for the setbacks and annoyances. For the difficult coworkers and the nagging in-laws, for the stress they put on us and whatever other difficulties we might be experiencing. Why? Because it’s all of those things, interconnected and dependent on each other, that made you who and what you are today. It is only by seeing the totality of things, good and bad, that you gain the understanding necessary to be truly grateful. It could be that terrible relationship that imploded spectacularly, but which led to you meeting the love of your life. It could even be the passing of a relative, something that caused you great sadness but which also spurred you to build stronger relationships with your loved ones. All of these things are sad, and they may not even lead to a happy ending—but they still define the course of your life, and it wouldn’t be you sitting there right now without them. As you gather around your family and friends this Thanksgiving or Christmas or any other celebration you might partake in, take the time to appreciate the moment and give thanks for all the obvious and bountiful gifts that moment presents. But also, be sure to be thankful for everything in your life, both the good and the bad. Because it’s in seeing all of those things, and understanding their impact, that you gain the ability to express true gratitude.
  7. Me thinks your math is off by a few years. By my calculations, it was 56 years ago. And I remember where I was then too.
  8. Cool. Not that it matters to anything, but a friend of mine (who has never heard of twi) just won a seat on the Boone Town Council and works as an adjunct professor at App State.
  9. I've thought about that idea a good bit. I wish I could say that I knew from the start that it wasn't the only way God might want things done. But I didn't. I've also pondered the reasons and factors that led me to be open to Wierwille and his ministry. For me, having been born into a Catholic family was one. Then having Christian believers I knew (and others I hadn't known before) witness to me gave me food for thought... and certainly if I knew then what I know now... well, I can relate to your musing that you wouldn't have done it for as long. But I am thankful that I left when I did. Taking it a step further, my experience in twi is a large part of what made me who I am today. I will hit the magic Medicare age very soon (this month). I'm glad I won't be repeating some of the mistakes I made in my youth.
  10. Where were you when Jonestown went down, 41 years ago? I was in Emporia, Kansas at what was then the Way College of Emporia. I was obviously vulnerable to cultic and fundamentalist influences as a young adult.
  11. Over the course of four days in November 1978, 41 years ago now, a team of investigators (including California Congressman Leo Ryan and his aide Jackie Speier) traveled to Jonestown Guyana. Jackie Speier, now serves in Congress. Ms. Speier was shot five times and left for dead. Obviously, she survived. We who survived the Wierwille cult, even though some did experience real trauma, escaped with our lives. I was in residence in the 9th way corpse's first year, at Emporia, when this tragedy went down. Obviously, as a young adult at that time, I was vulnerable to cultic and fundamentalist influences.
  12. WOW! That's some wicked (in a Boston dialect kinda way) stream of consciousness there Socks. I can think of feedback to some of the individual points you made in that post, but as a whole, it's pretty cool... and quite relevant. If God controls us, why would he make some people vulnerable to cults and then some of them start seeing things differently once they're engrossed in that cult culture and decide to change directions? (rhetorical question) There's also probably a lot of paradox wrapped up in the word "create." But I'm not going to take the time to expound thereon.
  13. Right on, Brother! I enjoyed reading your response to it.
  14. Rocky

    Berlin Wall

    Doesn't surprise me.
  15. I don't recall them having done so either.
  16. I wholeheartedly believe you when you say you don't see it in this situation. There's a difference between understanding what the Greek word means and actually connecting the dots in this situation. As a teacher once said (or maybe he said it thousands of times), "it's as plain as the nose on my face." May the Lord open.
  17. Taxidev, I was confident Skyrider would reply. Therefore, I didn't want to speak for him. However, the expressions, "put two and two together" and "connect the dots," have been referenced (explained indirectly) to you (taxidev) in prior (other threads) discussions. This is a poignant and salient example of the Greek word, "sunesis." From Strong's Concordance: Cognate: 4907 sýnesis (from 4920 /syníēmi) – properly, facts joined together for holistic understanding, i.e. synthesized reasoning that joins implicit (indirect) truths for comprehension. See also 4920 (syníēmi). For the believer, this "connects the dots" through sanctified, inductive reasoning (done under God). This positive use of 4907 /sýnesis ("synthesized understanding") occurs in: Mk 12:23; Lk 2:47; Eph 3:4; Col 1:9,22; 2 Tim 2:7. I hope this insight comes together for you.
  18. From Wikipedia: Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces (and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable)[1].[2] It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service.[3] There is another military holiday, Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.
  19. Wow! You seem to have been in quite the contrarian mood today. "You are speculating..." since you didn't even bother going. Have you ever considered that there is often (usually) more than one way to look at any given situation? And how certain are you that the situation (highlighted above in the quote of your comment) is only either/or?
  20. You may have a point. But it may also be a distinction without a difference. I'm not going to argue your semantics (or mine). But does the expression , "God was able to use that error in judgment for profit..." fail to take in, or consider the wisdom that comes from experience? (See Romans 5) 1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. And might "gained access by faith into this grace wherein we now stand," presuppose that we have to abstain from making errors in judgment in order to benefit from that access into grace? Nevertheless, what you posed suggests an intriguing quandary and/or paradox.
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